Article published in:Theme: Information landscapes
[Information Design Journal 10:3] 2001
► pp. 237–249
Constructing n-space: establishing a conceptual framework for the management and processing of complex and dynamic networked information flow
This article outlines aspects of a theoretical model of electronic communication design, specifically for the consumption of news. This model allows access to digital information through a process of intuitive, active exploration in a four-dimensional, dynamic and responsive environment: the n-space. I summarise its conceptual foundations and the metaphors used to describe its sense of geography and landscape, relating initially to Jay David Bolter’s notions of ‘writing spaces’ and ‘hard structures’. Spatial relationships between information elements within the n-space are explored, the utilisation and application of axial reading – namely chronological and conceptual hierarchies – aims to develop dynamic, flexible and intuitive systems for using the n-space. Notions of boundaries and fragmentation, and of macro and micro readings are considered with certain aspects of the reading experience in the n-space model outlined, in particular the use of thematic nodes as anchoring devices to aid navigation and user-orientation in what could initially seem a disorienting environment.
Keywords: dynamic visualisation, interaction, spatial organisation, axial reading, information landscape, electronic news, navigation
Published online: 17 December 2002